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My new istallation - Work in Progress

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I have set the ball rolling on my new solar installation. I have ordered a 48v Microcare inverter as well as 18 x 255w solar panels with all the goodies to go with it to mount and cable it. I have also ordered my batteries (3 banks 200ah 48v Narada Rex-c batteries). I paid for these on Thursday and the batteries was delivered same day. Big thumbs up to Prodocom, which gave me excellent pricing and service. Feel free to contact Luelsa on 083-254-4354 if you require batteries. I have also order a Victron BMV-700 battery monitor to be able to check the status of the battery and see how my usage will be affecting the battery bank.


Next week we will install and mount the solar panels and then check the voltages to determine if we are going to use one 100a MPPT charge controller or 2 x 60a. I will also start the assembly of the battery racks and get all of that ready, to connect up once we get the inverter.


I will post some more photos and keep updating the thread as we go along.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I bought 2 x Victron 150/75 MPPT charge controllers and changed the inverter to a 5000/48/70 Victron Multiplus inverter. I have also added the color control GX control panel to the setup. This will all be installed Friday, with the solar panels following as soon as the mounting brackets are done, next week. For the moment I am going to configure the inverter to avoid load shedding until the panels arrive.

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A few things really. I have decided to get the Colour control GX and that will tie in much better with the Victron inverter and MPPT controllers. It also allows me to remote monitor my system and assist me in configuring it better. The microcare had a 6 week wait and the Victron was available immediately. I also managed to find someone that gave me a very good deal on the Victron, which made it affordable. I am also planning to change my battery bank to Lithium Ion some time in the far distant future when it actually doesn't cost 3x the price of AGM batteries and the Victron supports this. 


I am pondering contacting Sustainable and see if I can swap the 700 for the 702. Will probably send them an email later today.







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The 700 I did buy from sustainable. The rest I got from current automation. Likely not going to exchange it, don't think its worth the hassle 


Why not ask current automation if they would be willing to exchange it if you pay the difference, since you've spent quite a lot with them.

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Ok, yesterday we started connecting the inverter and mounting the MPPT controllers etc. We also powered up the system and checked that it worked. I also reprogrammed the inverter so that it can assist me in avoiding load shedding until I manage to get the solar panels up next week. It also charged the batteries to full for the first time.


Tomorrow I will build the box with the battery monitor as well as the Colour control GX and connect all of that up. The solar panels will come later next week I think.












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Finally finished mounting the panels and getting everything connected. Switched over yesterday and it looks like everything is working. Solar yield this far is a little less than expected. Its 11am now and I'm getting about 2750w from 4500w worth of panels. May need to investigate and see if this is a problem or this is usual yield. Don't have enough data yet, but I was expecting about 3.5kw around now.















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I think the low tilt angle might be the reason why you are not getting the expected yield.


An idea, instead of incurring the costs to tilt the panels at the correct angle, add 1-2 more panels. It may turn out to be cheaper.


Ps. I once, only once, connected 2 panels in series, incorrectly. Middle of the day, double storey house, was rather irritated that day.

Anycase, they where not generating. Back up, found the problem fixed it. Worked perfectly for +-35 days, then I got very strange readings. Went back up and found the one panels boxie melting, and the diodes between the circuits damaged. Panel was a loss, until we replaced the diodes, but, panel is compromised so I have a 200w panel, and no place to use it for back on the roof, naaaa, too much effort to check it regularly.

Reason for my 2 cents, make sure the connections are as expected, if MPPT's do not give the expected input.

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Got on the roof this morning, one of the connectors between two of the panels that are connected in series were faulty. Joined the two wires and crimped them and now its fixed. Getting about 3.6kw from the panels in peak sun. Putting the panels in a solar tracker would work very well, I expect about a 40% increase in the panels in there, but it gives you a lot of moving parts and remove the maintenance free part of the set-up. Still considering if I really need to do it. I can add 3 more panels max to my roof, the I am completely out of space, without starting to build custom frames etc.


I am getting about 1kw per 250w panel per day, give or take. Given that the panels does not face 100% north (They are about 10 - 15 degrees off), I suspect that is about as much as I am going to get without getting the tracker. 


I will monitor the set-up for the next two weeks and see if I am getting enough sun power for the system and how much more I am going to need.

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